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Anyone re-do their helm? Pictures?

Discussion in 'Luhrs Yacht' started by Josh Keeran, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Josh Keeran

    Josh Keeran Member

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    I have replaced all the electronics on my boat since buying it last July. I made the new electronics work with the precious configuration but will be re-doing everything this spring.

    I would like to do new fiberglass but nice smooth new gelcoat is not going to match the rough crappy gelcoat the factory did. I am not going to undertake gelcoating the entire helm council.

    the easy solution will be an acrylic piece. Looking to see examples of what others have done on their convertibles. I have checked out all the ones currently for sale and nothing has really impressed me
  2. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    We need a picture of your current electronics console to help guide our suggestions.
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF. We luv DIY projects here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2020
  4. Josh Keeran

    Josh Keeran Member

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  5. Josh Keeran

    Josh Keeran Member

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  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    O K, What do you have in mind? Just glass in the holes and put all like it is?
    Angled up big display maybe? At least raised in that cluster?
    Sure would luv to raise that whole helm up a good bit.
    From the seat height, I don't think your short.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  7. Josh Keeran

    Josh Keeran Member

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    I would love to glass in the holes and start from scratch but again, the rest of the gelcoat has a terrible very heavy "orange peel" texture to it. I could never, or want to, match that. Everything is going to be removed and relocated. Pretty much leaves me with a large piece of acrylic or starboard. I'm leaning towards black acrylic for a different look.

    It is a terrible design. lots of real estate for electronics but not very function location especially when attempting to do anything with them in rough seas.

    I am definitely moving the 16" Axiom display to the top. The 6" axiom is really just there for the internal sounder and a larger depth/speed display. Not sold on any location for that at this time. Will most likely be replacing with a 12'' unit in the near future. I was thinking of relocating the Raymarine autopilot display to where the blue compass is between the engine gauges. That compass is not very accurate anyways. The music radio is going to be replaced with something more modern, possibly in the cabin with just a remote on the bridge. I have a second Simrad RS35 VHF radio I will be installing. The VHF radio location now is horrible for accessing from the helm. I was contemplating mounting one directly above the shifters and one above the throttles or both of them under the push breaker panel.

    all input welcome!!!
  8. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Do you have an overhead box? Thought about a black box vhf with just the hand set around the panel?
    The vhf and stereo do not need prime real estate.
    It looks like all is around your knees. Could you raise the whole console top?
    The AP head must have fast & un-obstructed access so to hit that standby button quickly if needed.
    There are plastic shops out there that can make a perfect new dash panel with finished edged. Hit on them for help also.
  10. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Consider glassing, fairing and painting the whole center console?
  11. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    To redo something like that, I would fill the existing holes with good quality plywood and lay a flat black Formica over the entire surfaces. Whatever will be installed will benefit from the contrast, as the operator's eyes won't react to the glare as much and provide better focus on controls and images. The Formica can be glued down with contact cement reliably, but the best job would be vacuum bagging with a slower setting adhesive. Once the surfaces are uniform, I make templates of the equipment being installed and place them for an appealing layout for the operator. It's always nice to have the important stuff in as near to the line of sight as possible, so that when operating in limited visibility or close quarters, you only need to move your eyes and not your whole head to spot depth or plotter position. Having actual size patterns allows viewing alternative placements. In the case of doing professional installations, it assures that the owner/operator is on the same page with the installer (or vice versa :) )
  12. Josh Keeran

    Josh Keeran Member

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    it is an option. I don’t think I want to take on that large of a project.
  13. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    IDK, I think it looks pretty good as is. Save your time, energy and money for other projects. Or maybe none at all , and save that money for fuel!
  14. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    QUOTE="cleanslate, post: 286963, member: 63137"]IDK, I think it looks pretty good as is. Save your time, energy and money for other projects. Or maybe none at all , and save that money for fuel![/QUOTE]
    IMO that's a stitched together helm. Does it work sure, but I think the OP is looking for a little bit of aesthetics - particularly to the left of the helm? The thought may be to refabricate the left surface to have a continuous flat surface for mounting? That can be done with starboard and a acrylic surface of your choosing. Every screen looks to be conveniently mounted, though. I do have to agree that relative to the helm chair that console is quite low. Maybe it just camera prolix??
  15. Josh Keeran

    Josh Keeran Member

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    you are absolutely correct! finished last season just fine piecing it together. Number one, the 16'' main Axiom unit needs to be mounted higher. Number two, I am very OCD with my boats. I am unhappy with how non-uniform the helm looks. I am thinking I will be using a single piece of black acrylic for the face piece. I will reinforce it with plywood and fill in the holes I can.

    Anymore input on location of the electronics? I am definitely moving the 16'' Axiom directly up from its current location. I am all over the board on where I want to relocate the other units. The autopilot HAS to be moved! As Capt Ralph mentioned about easy quick access, it definitely is not right now. Even regular use of the autopilot in its current location is uncomfortable. One of many issues I have found in just a few months that I can not believe the previous owner was ok with form almost 20 years
  16. Bucksh0t

    Bucksh0t Member

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    The coosa board material is great to work with. It cuts and sands like butter. You could make a continuous flat surface and epoxy the small side filler strips on. "glue it together" Then have someone glass and spray it to match as close as possible. I would finish it off with a thin black acrylic face.
    I would also glass in through bolts to attach it so there would not be any visible screws heads.
  17. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    Look up Boattronics on instagram, they do a lot of rewiring and dashes. Lots of pics of work they have done and will give you an idea.

    If you give them a pattern of that area, they will cut a whole new panel and mount what you want all in one piece. Will save you a lot of time and money.
  18. Josh Keeran

    Josh Keeran Member

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    I made a template and had a local company cut a piece of black plexiglass. I’m going it reinforce the original dash behind the plexiglass. I did not have them make the cut outs for the electronics. I still am not sure the locations of everything yet.

    as far as reinforcing, I’m thinking about glassing it all in and not worrying about matching the helm since I now have the plexi. I time will be my number one determining factor
  19. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    You can also tap Coosa board for machine screws FWIW.
  20. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Thru bolts, immo. You don't want that panel with instruments flapping around in a heavy sea after it pops out